Low-Budget Stroke Campaign Makes High Impact at VCU

Marianne Aiello, September 3, 2014

A campaign by Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center to raise stroke awareness didn't cost much, but thanks to striking visuals, has netted more than 9 million impressions.



>>>Slideshow: VCU's Stroke Campaign

"Which beekeeper closet correct answer the pie?"

No, I'm not losing the fight with autocorrect (Though it does resemble the texts I've been receiving from my mother). The above text was actually featured in a newspaper teaser ad for Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center's recent stroke campaign.

The Richmond, VA, medical center decided to participate in the National Stroke Association's awareness campaign for in May for Stroke Month because of its region's unique demographics.

Virginia is inside of the "stroke belt," a region in the southeastern US that public health authorities have recognized for having an unusually high incidence of stroke and other episodes caused by cardiovascular disease. Additionally, 54% of Richmond's population are African American—a demographic that has a 2.5 times greater risk of stroke than the Caucasian population.

"All of these factors contributed to the decision to participate in the national campaign for Stroke Month by supporting awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke," says Cynthia Schmidt, chief of marketing for VCU.

"Since stroke is not a service that you can drive business to, we saw this very much as a public service campaign with the primary goal of public health education."

Big Impact on a Small Budget

VCU, working with Richmond-based creative agency ND&P, started crafting a campaign geared at greater-Richmond residents over age 35, with a particular focus on African Americans.  

Marianne Aiello

Marianne Aiello is a contributing writer at HealthLeaders Media.

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